How to Fly FPV Drone in Summer: Top Tips for Hot Weather Drone Flights

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As an adventure filmmaker, I’ve recently completed numerous filming projects in scorching hot cities this summer.

I thought I needed to share valuable tips to assist fellow adventure filmmakers and drone enthusiasts in safely fly drones in hot weather.

So, keep reading, and let’s get started with flying FPV drones!

How hot is too hot for a drone?

Temperature tolerance varies among different drone makes and models. Most commercial drones, like DJI drones, are designed to operate between 0 and 40 degrees Celsius (32 -104 degrees Fahrenheit). Beyond this range, performance may be compromised.

Can you fly in the hot weather?

The simple answer is yes.

But it’s crucial to stay within your drone’s recommended operating temperature. Extreme heat can affect battery performance and overall functionality.

10 tips for flying a drone in hot weather

With proper precaution and planning, flying in hot weather can be done safely for ourselves. Here are ten tips for flying a drone in high temperatures.

Don’t fly in the day’s hottest hours

My first hint is to download an app; it’s named SunCalc. It’s the short form of “Sun Calculator.” It’s a fantastic app for photography and videography.

It shows you when the sun will rise and when it will set again. Then, it shows you at which angle the sun travels, and if possible, avoid flying in the extremely hot hours of the day. Instead, try to fly in the early morning or the late evening hours for two reasons. Firstly, it is, of course, less hot, and secondly, usually, the light looks way more cinematic.

Beware of hot cars

Never leave your drone, batteries, or accessories in the car for too long. Stay away from parking the car somewhere in the sun and head outdoors or do something else while having the fragile drone inside your vehicle. Cars can easily, within only half an hour, heat up to temperatures of approximately 70 degrees Celsius, and this can heavily damage the drone.

Keep your batteries cool before use

Batteries can’t perform well in extreme temperatures, whether hot or cold. If you plan on carrying multiple backup batteries for your drone, it’s important to store them in a shaded location to avoid overheating.

It’s not advisable to use cold packs as they can lead to condensation, which may harm the batteries.

Avoid rapid temperature changes

Next, it’s important to avoid rapid temperature changes.

Please don’t take your drone and transport it in the nicely cool town car and then immediately take it out and fly it in the heat, maybe even in sports mode, which is the most aggressive of all modes.

Because what happens is that all the materials, the components inside the drone will expand a bit because of the extra heat. In the worst case, that can cause cracks to appear on the drone’s body or maybe even inside, on the technology, where we cannot spot any of the cracks, and in the worst case, you could damage the battery.

If there is just one crack on the battery, you must get rid of it because flying with a damaged battery is extremely dangerous. Because once the battery in flight fails, the drone will go down, or, worst case, the battery could even catch fire; even though I think that’s pretty rare, you should always take a lot of care when it comes to temperature changes.

Give the battery and the drone some time to acclimate, to get used to new temperatures, and then you’ll usually stay safe and be good to go.

Mind the operating temperature

Different drones have specific temperature ranges in which they can operate effectively. For instance, most DJI drones are designed to work optimally between 0 and 40 degrees Celsius.

Of course, you can extend the temperature by going lower than 0 degrees or above 40, but you must take extra care.

Keep flights short

When the heat is on, it’s best to keep your drone flights on the shorter side. Extended flights in high temperatures can lead to overheating of both your drone and its battery. Opt for shorter flight sessions to prevent potential damage from excessive heat exposure.

Give your drone a break

After each flight, make sure to give your drone and battery some rest. Find a shaded area to let the aircraft cool down before your next flight.

This practice helps maintain the optimal operating temperature and prolongs the life of your equipment.

Smart recording strategies

In scorching temperatures, avoid recording never-ending long clips.

Some people just take off with a drone, hit the record button, and start filming for 5, 10, 15, or whatever minutes. It’s too much for the camera. When it is hot outdoors, you should just look for a particular perspective and keep the record button, then fly a specific path.

For example, a line or a half-circle, something like that, whatever looks cinematic. And then you turn the camera off again. That’s how you keep the drone as cold as possible.

Avoid temperature shock

One mistake to avoid is exposing your overheated drone to sudden cooling sources, like air conditioning units. Rapid temperature changes can lead to condensation buildup within your drone and its battery, potentially causing damage.

Avoid charging your battery immediately after flying

When a drone is flown, the battery undergoes a process called discharging, during which it expends energy to power the aircraft. This discharging process generates heat, causing the battery temperature to rise.

Charging the battery immediately after flying can further contribute to heat buildup, potentially leading to overheating and reducing the battery’s overall lifespan.

Therefore, it is recommended to wait a reasonable amount of time to cool down before charging. This precaution ensures the longevity and optimal performance of your drone’s battery.


Final words

Flying your drone in the summer heat doesn’t have to be a challenge. I hope these practical tips help you get a smooth and safe flight.

Happy flying!

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Written By Kristen Ward

My name is Kristen R. Ward. I’m an adventure Filmmaker and I run a production company based out of New York. FPV drones are integral to my business. I'll be teaching you everything I've learned over the years creating videos for clients.

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